Master of Arts and Graduate Certificate in Program Evaluation

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Michigan State University's Master's Degree and Certificate in program evaluation prepare professionals for a career in program evaluation. Specialists in this rapidly growing field are in high demand, and our program provides both the theoretical knowledge and real-world experience to make our students successful.


We offer a Master of Arts (M.A.) Degree and a Graduate Certificate in Program Evaluation. All classes are delivered entirely online by respected, accomplished evaluation professionals. As a student in this program, you'll consult with  faculty, exchange ideas with classmates, and complete knowledge and skill-building activities — all at locations and hours that are most convenient for you.

Also as an M.A. student, you will complete a two-semester supervised practical application course; you'll work alongside evaluation practitioners in a professional evaluation setting to gain first-hand experience applying your learning from prior classes. Most importantly, in the end, you will have developed the skills needed for a successful evaluation career in local, state, and federal agencies, as well as the private sector.

Depending on space availability, courses are also open to individuals interested in taking one or more courses for the purpose of professional development.  

Click here to find out about the course costs.

Read more about the M.A., graduate certificate, and professional development options below.

  • Master of Arts in Program Evaluation

    Core Courses

    To earn a master's degree in program evaluation, students complete eight core content courses (24 credits) that cover:  

    • leading models and standards of professional evaluation practice.
    • quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-method design and analysis for the evaluation context.
    • effective interpersonal and communication skills.
    • leading-edge dissemination and reporting strategies.
    • evaluation contracting and project management.


    Students also complete a practicum sequence (13 credits) that provides them with the opportunity to further develop their evaluation skills by immersion in a real-world setting in which evaluations are currently being conducted. Settings include government agencies, human service organizations, educational settings, healthcare organizations, and for-profit and non-profit evaluation firms.

    Program Duration

    As a full-time student, you'll earn your degree in only 16 months (four consecutive semesters). As a part-time student, you will follow an individualized plan of study that meets your needs. 


    The current cost of tuition for the M.A. in program evaluation is $30,932 ($836/credit hour). Rates are subject to change. Contact the MSU Financial Aid Office for information about financial assistance. Contact MSU Student Accounts for billing and payment information.

    The total cost for course materials (e.g., books) is approximately $1050. 


  • Graduate Certificate in Program Evaluation

    The graduate certificate is designed to provide foundational knowledge and skills, while providing students with the flexibility to tailor the program to meet their unique educational needs. The graduate certificate is a good option for evaluation practitioners looking to advance their skills and credentials without committing the time and resources necessary to complete a master's degree. However, should your circumstances change, 9 credits from the certificate program can be applied toward the master's degree. This means that once you complete the graduate certificate, you are already 9 credits closer to earning your M.A. in Program Evaluation. 

    Required Courses

    To earn a graduate certificate in program evaluation, students complete four 3-credit courses (12 credits). As a certificate student, you would take:


    The current tuition cost for the graduate certificate in program evaluation is $10,032 ($836/credit hour). Rates are subject to change. Contact the MSU Financial Aid Office for information about financial assistance. Contact MSU Student Accounts for billing and payment information.

    The cost for course materials (e.g., books) is approximately $400.

  • Professional Development

    Not interested in pursuing an M.A. or a graduate certificate, but would like to build your skills in a particular competency area? Any of the eight core content courses can be taken through MSU's Lifelong Education program. If you are interested in taking one or more of the courses as a non-degree seeking student, contact us regarding course availability and complete the MSU online Lifelong Education Application status through the university. 

    A limited number of credits taken while enrolled under the Lifelong Education enrollment status may be applied to the MA or Certificate. Contact us for more information.


    The tuition rate is set by the Lifelong Education Program. The rate is listed on the MSU Controller's Office website. The cost for course materials (e.g., books) ranges from approximately $50 to $120. 

Q: How long does it take to complete a Master's degree in program evaluation?

A: The M.A. in program evaluation degree can be completed in as few as 16 months. Most students finish the degree in 28 months. 

Q: How do program evaluation M.A students who are working full-time balance those demands and the practicum?

A: Most of the students in the program evaluation M.A. program work full-time, and many do their practicum at their place of employment. Those whose place of employment is not an option for the practicum tend to either find a placement that will fit with their work schedule or adjust their work schedule to accommodate their practicum.

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